Insurers: about 10 million euros in fireworks damage during the turn of the year

Around the turn of the year, about 10 million euros in damage was caused by the setting off of fireworks. This is evident from the Wednesday first estimate of the Dutch Association of Insurers. It is slightly more than the fireworks damage during the previous turn of the year. Then it was about 9 million euros.

The amount only concerns private damage to homes and passenger cars. The final amount will not be estimated until all claims have been processed. The actual amount will be “significantly higher”, according to the Dutch Association of Insurers, because medical costs or damage to companies and school buildings are not included in this estimate. For example, the amount of damage would increase by millions due to fires in a former church building in Veghel, in a duck breeding farm in Ermelo and in a number of schools in Amsterdam and Utrecht.

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According to Richard Weurding, general director of the Association, “a huge amount” of illegal fireworks was imported this year. “The strong wind didn’t help either,” he writes. “Due to these factors, the fireworks damage is again at a higher level than in the years during corona.”

Ban barely enforced

After two years of a national ban on fireworks due to the corona pandemic – in order not to further burden healthcare – fireworks were allowed to be set off again in many places this New Year. Although a ban was still in force in twelve municipalities, the sale of fireworks went wild again in December. There was hardly any enforcement in the municipalities with a lighting ban. The Eye Hospital in Rotterdam counted 23 victims; a lot more than during the previous turn of the year.

At the turn of last year, the total amount of damage was approximately 9 million euros, a doubling compared to the previous year. According to the insurers, mainly illegal fireworks were set off at the time. At the turn of the year from 2019 to 2020 (before corona and before the fireworks ban), the total amount of damage from fireworks rose to more than 16 million.